Uganda: Country Assures Visitors

Kampala — Uganda is a safe country to visit and live in, despite the July 11 bomb blast that killed 74 people, the Minister of State for Tourism, Mr Serapio Rukundo has said.

"Security has been beefed up in all public places to the extent of introducing x-rays to scan all individuals that wish to attend public gatherings," he said. "So every one should let their neighbours know that Uganda is still safe and attractive."

Rukundo was addressing the press at the Media Centre in Kampala last week.

Rukundo said security is directly related to tourism. "So there is no way we can ignore the issue."

The assurances come as the country prepares to host the African Union Summit this weekend.

It will be preceeded by a series of meetings - The African Youth Summit that started on Monday and the African Council of ministers later on in the week.

Several heads of states and governments have confirmed attendance.

Rukundo said the government will train more dogs to help in detecting bombs and more security gadgets will be introduced.

He explained that it was every body's role to restore the image of the country saying the July 11 tragedy can happen in any country.

Several security measures have been in place to ensure safety and re-establishment of a peaceful environment including access control measures at entry points in public premises.

The police and other security officers will be visiting places of entertainment and social gatherings, bars, hotels, supermarkets and malls, educational institutions and all public places to ensure presence of adequate security arrangements.

Toll free lines for the public to report relevant information of security nature have also been installed.

"The bombing incidents by the so called A-Shabaab Somali Islamic group are meant to scare and discourage visitors but the Ugandan government is committed to maintaining Uganda as an attractive and safe country," the minister said.

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